Throughout the study of the semester, we have learned how the human nature shapes the community. The invisible rules that enact on the population in some ways that the people who have power can control the result.
When I was around 10 years old, there was one cartoon that really inspired me, even though I couldn’t fully understand the meaning behinds every sentence, but it was the first ever work that opens my door to the “reality”. Lately, I found out that it was the adaptation from Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. There are also film and musical play versions. The setting of the story is in the early 19th century in France. The story is based on a man named Jean Valjean who were guilty of theft. When he began to follow his old tracks-stealing. A bishop forgives what he had done in the past and gives him a second chance to start a new life. Because of bishop’s kindly reaction, Jean Valijean was pulled out from this ugly world by the bishop. He understands that human nature is good and kind, there may be many different kinds of flaws and injustice exist in the world, but people can be changed, from bad to good. All people shall be threat equally. The pre-judgement prevents people from correcting themselves. Later on, he focuses on the way to make himself a “better person”, eventually, he becomes mayor of a local town and owner of the factory. However, there is one police inspector named Javert, does not allow him to go back to “normal” life, he believes that Valjean once a law-breaker, he cannot change into a good person. One of the factory workers – Fantine, willing to do everything for her dearest daughter – Cosette, before she dies from the illness of being over working or bully by other people, she asked Valjean to take care of her illegitimate daughter. In those turbulent moments, Valjean stays his ground and helps others as much as he can.
The concept of being justice is an intangible abstract idea that controlled under the powerful people to create their ideal world. So, what is justice? The meaning of justice doesn’t fully explain by just pulling out the meaning from the dictionary. Friedrich Nietzsche thinks that the meaning of justice is unspecific that is it flexible with no fixed meaning. The ultimate definition of being justice is to be “positive” or “good”, but Nietzsche tries to challenge the norm that people have forgotten and the meaning of the concept, by raising some questions of how do we know what is included and what is excluded? The concept of justice may not exist because it is a use of language that people tries to approach the truth. The community has hard time to define some moral action, in that said, they need to create some sort of laws to help them identify which action is “good” or “bad”. It’s just a metaphor that people use to judge the world.
The concept of responsibility also occurs in both cases. Because there is no fixed meaning of justice that’s given by God, therefore, people or the community should come together to create a “definition of justice” in order to make the society function well. In addition, everyone has their own responsibility to follow what is written on the paper. The concept of justice is rational and no true meaning. It can be changed as time goes on, and develop with the growth of the society. In the story, The visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt, the people of the town that are under the control of Claire, agrees that Ill’s death can be deemed as Justice because of the mistakes that he had done. By sacrificing Ill, the debt of the whole town can be resolve. Even though Claire comes back for the revenge, she has more control in the town than Ill does, so does this action can be seen as justice? People pushing Ill to death in order to clear the debts, they think that it is justice because Ill was guilty. The “justice” that we see in here has a lot of negative images. However, in Les Misérables, we can see two different kinds of “justice”, one is positive and one is negative. The action of the bishop by forgiving Valijean can be defined as a positive justice which he gives a guilty person an opportunity to start a new life. This act would be doubt in a modern society since people who admitted crime shall be punished by law. The “justice” that the police inspector Javert is the opposite of the bishop, he believes that people who once done wrong, they will not change to a better person.
Overall, the human nature is pure and good, the action of being justice is the highest transformation that wakes up the conscience.